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Most doctors help end lives of terminally ill patients

 
 
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 01:55 am
Quote:
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According to a BBC-report about the new study, UK doctors are far more cautious about helping terminally ill patients end their lives than colleagues in Europe, a study shows.

http://i10.tinypic.com/33eufwh.jpg

The study will be published on Monday.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,557 • Replies: 20
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tycoon
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 06:01 am
Here in the U.S. we had a creepy publicity-driven physician by the name of Jack Kervorkian, a self-professed suicide doctor, who did more to hurt the euthanasia cause than all other factors combined, IMO.

The best thing that can occur for people wishing to die with some degree of dignity left is to keep the issue off the front page.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 06:09 am
I suppose, that's the way it is done - with "about two-thirds of terminally ill patients".
(We had to mourn the death of four friends/closer aquaintances within the last three month: such happened with all of them.)
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 06:12 am
tycoon, I had never thought of it that way. Perhaps you are right. The case of Terri Schiavo here in Florida, however, made many aware of what can happen when a governor decides to by-pass the state legislature and stage a personal vendetta.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 08:26 am
Walter
Tycon and Walter, you are right. It's the big secret that was never a secret for which patients and their families were greatful. No problem until the radical right decided to intrude on family and patient decisions and tried to use it for political gain.

BBB
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tycoon
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 02:12 pm
Yes, if and when this issue becomes politicized--as the Schiavo case proved--it's all over. Best to keep it under the radar and allow humanitarian methods to quietly work between the immediate family and the attending physician.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 03:07 pm
Letty wrote:
tycoon, I had never thought of it that way. Perhaps you are right. The case of Terri Schiavo here in Florida, however, made many aware of what can happen when a governor decides to by-pass the state legislature and stage a personal vendetta.


The case of Terri made it very clear what happens when directives are not presented to attending physicans, at the moment a person has entered the hospital/hospice for care and of course, after consultation with a lawyer and the creation of the necessary legal documents.

By the way, 2/3 of American MDs are not acting to kill their terminal patients. Britain is NOT the USA! ( least we forget the American Revolution ).
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 03:11 pm
Miller wrote:

By the way, 2/3 of American MDs are not acting to kill their terminal patients. Britain is NOT the USA! ( least we forget the American Revolution ).


Nor has that been said neither do British doctors kill terminal ill persons.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 03:20 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Miller wrote:

By the way, 2/3 of American MDs are not acting to kill their terminal patients. Britain is NOT the USA! ( least we forget the American Revolution ).


...neither do British doctors kill terminal ill persons.


Quote:
n a survey of 857 doctors in the UK, ... said the actions they had taken had not shortened life more than a week...
DOesn't this statement indicate that UK docs took action to shorten a patients life, and that this action was purposefully done to terminate a patient's life?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 03:28 pm
Quote:
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 03:36 pm
Quote:
DOesn't this statement indicate that UK docs took action to shorten a patients life, and that this action was purposefully done to terminate a patient's life?


We call it murder , where I come from.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 04:37 pm
Murder to some is mercy to others.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 04:59 pm
The survey certainly reflects my experience of working in a hospital...(although that is now 17 years ago)....although practice would vary from doctor to doctor, sometimes with awful results. For example, some surgeons and surgical wards were very chary re pain elief, and would adhere to rigid schedules though people were clearly dying, and in agony.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 01:05 am
dlowan wrote:
The survey certainly reflects my experience of working in a hospital...(although that is now 17 years ago)....although practice would vary from doctor to doctor, sometimes with awful results. For example, some surgeons and surgical wards were very chary re pain elief, and would adhere to rigid schedules though people were clearly dying, and in agony.


Well, it reflects exactly what my father told me, who was medical director of a (run by Catholic nuns) special hospital for senior ill persons ...

And - as said - that's the experience we got with all the deaths we had to mourn recently.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 02:45 am
Well, it certainly hasn't been my experience in the US, especially my years working in the hospice section of a major Harvard affliated hospital.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 02:50 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:


Well, it reflects exactly what my father told me, who was medical director of a (run by Catholic nuns) special hospital for senior ill persons ...


The catholic church is against abortion ( look at Ireland! ), yet the church says it's ok to terminate the lives of the elderly and sick?
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Tico
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 08:38 am
I am eternally grateful to the nurse or the doctor with the little extra morphine (or whatever) for my cancer-ridden pain-wracked hopelessly terminal loved ones. And I know, holding their hand and looking into their eyes, that they were too.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jun, 2007 07:57 am
Calif. Congress fails the terminally ill again
This month the California Assembly declined to bring the Compassionate Choices Act (AB 374) to a vote. The legislation would have given terminally ill Californians the option to request life-ending medications from a physician to hasten an impending death. The issue could be taken up again in January.

Assembly members Patty Berg and Lloyd Levine and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez co-authored the bill and championed the cause valiantly. Berg's Chief of Staff Will Shuck told the Sacramento Bee, "The people are there, and the politicians aren't."

The political debate is locked in a contest between dogma and mercy, fabrication and fact, fear and reason. This legislative paralysis does nothing to address the crisis of desperation and suffering Californians endure against their will. Inaction keeps aid in dying in the back alley, where it remains unsafe and inaccessible.

The campaign was hard fought by aid-in-dying supporters and coalition partners including the ACLU, NOW, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Congress of California Seniors, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the California Association of Physicians Groups (CAPG).

Hundreds of dedicated chapter members, volunteers, clergy and physicians called and wrote lawmakers and helped build support. This team worked tirelessly to bring home the truth of the enormous current harm to dying patients and their families and the hope and safety of the bill.

Compassion & Choices will continue to lead in reform on this issue, with multiple initiatives in many states and further efforts in California. This issue is far too important to let lie dormant in the halls of statehouses.

Eight Years After Kevorkian

When Dr. Jack Kevorkian left prison, reporters surveyed the politics of end-of-life decisions and decided nothing had changed during his eight years behind bars.

So it seems. Oregon is still the only state where a dying patient can openly and legally receive life-ending medication from her doctor and self-administer it if and when suffering becomes unbearable. In every other state Compassion & Choices makes covert aid in dying as safe and accessible as possible for our clients and merciful doctors assist dying in clandestine ways.

The national health care crisis of prolonged agony and unnecessary suffering has not abated. Desperate people still use guns and other violent methods to escape their suffering when they see no other options.

As with Terri Schiavo, right-to-life campaigners still incite their followers with hysteria in the press and frenzy among lawmakers. On our side, people revere Kevorkian for his courage in defying law and government. Kevorkian serves as resilient caricature for both poles in the public dialogue. At one end he's a heroic icon. At the other, a flamboyant foil.

We would be wrong to judge a social movement by its stable extremes. Because over the past eight years the vast middle ground has made great leaps in knowledge and understanding. Data sets emerging from Oregon's aid-in-dying experience are nothing less than revolutionary. Revealed truths about rational public policy and responsible aid-in-dying practice include:

Given the free choice to aid their dying, very few patients (about 1 in 800) exercise it.

Neither access to care nor financial considerations impact their decision.

The chief benefits of decriminalizing the practice are easing of fear, increasing hospice and pain care and delivering peace of mind to all dying patients.

Regulating aid in dying as a legitimate end-of-life option reduces its frequency to about 25 percent of the hidden practice where it remains illegal.

Kevorkian promises not to flout the law again and says he intends to use his parole to help change it. But, legal reform usually emerges from the middle ground. Despite his stated intention, Kevorkian is likely to remain uniquely out of place on middle ground, but his presence can help shift that ground.

Reformers like the California authors of a bill modeled on Oregon see Kevorkian as the poster boy for why their law is needed. He is a potent symbol, an abject lesson in the desperate lengths people will go to when they face a tragic dilemma and the law ignores their plight.

Kevorkian's notoriety highlights a crisis of suffering that begs for merciful, rational public policy. We now know legal aid in dying is safe, and it's only lawmakers' fixation on the extremes of the debate that keeps it illegal.

Compassion in the Media

Dr. Jack Kevorkian's release from prison and the California Assembly's consideration of AB 374 drew the national media spotlight to the issue of aid in dying this month. Influential editorials were published in USA Today and The New York Times, while NPR's "Talk of the Nation" considered the current state of the movement.

In a USA Today op-ed published on June 6, Dr. Sidney Wanzer made the powerful argument that the U.S. needs an Oregon-style law in every state.

Read the USA Today op-ed

A New York Times editorial published just days after Dr. Jack Kevorkian's parole describes the actions that led him to prison as "cavalier, indeed reckless" and calls for safe, regulated aid-in-dying laws to ease the real suffering of terminally ill patients.

Read the New York Times editorial (PDF)

The national dialogue on aid in dying was the topic of NPR's midday news program "Talk of the Nation" on June 5. Host Neal Conan spoke with guests including Dr. Linda Ganzini, Oregon Health & Science University professor of psychiatry and medicine, and Nancy Kelem, a terminally ill California mother and advocate for the Compassionate Choices Act.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jun, 2007 08:01 am
Eva and C.I.
I love it when A2Kers share their travel experiences with those of us who are unable to travel.

BBB Smile
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jun, 2007 08:05 am
I do as well - but I think, you posted this in the wrong thread, BBB?
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